Dow, S&P end wild year at record highs

Wall Street wrapped up a wild year Thursday with the Dow and S&P 500 closing at record highs. Stocks made solid-to-spectacular gains in 2020 despite the upending of the economy by COVID-19.

Back in March as lockdowns went into effect, the longest bull market in history ended abruptly with the S&P500 plunging 35% from its peak, but the index has since bounced back nearly 70%. Driving the markets north: the popular FAANG stocks: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet.

For the year, the Nasdaq rocketed a whopping 44%. The S&P 500 gained 16%, and the Dow added 7%.

Invesco chief global market strategist Kristina Hooper’s key takeaway for investors in 2020:

“This has been a Fed-fueled, a giant Fed-fueled rally that we've experienced really for the last nine or so months and to me that is the greatest lesson of 2020 is that even when you don't have visibility as long as the Fed steps in you're likely to have a good year for stocks.”

On Thursday, the Dow and S&P 500 gained two-thirds percent, and the Nasdaq added a tenth percent.

Shares of Tribune Publishing jumped 7%. Hedge fund Alden Global Capital is seeking to take full control of Tribune in a deal that values the newspaper chain at $521 million.

Exxon Mobil shares declined. The energy giant signaled it’ll take an asset writedown of up to $20 billion.

The markets will be closed Friday in observance of New Year’s Day.

Video Transcript

NARRATOR: Wall Street wrapped up a wild year Thursday with the Dow and S&P 500 closing at record highs. Stocks made solid to spectacular gains in 2020 despite the upending of the economy by COVID-19. Back in March, as lockdowns went into effect, the longest bull market in history ended abruptly with the S&P 500 plunging 35% from its peak. But the index has since bounced back nearly 70%.

Driving the markets north, the popular FAANG stocks-- Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google parent Alphabet. For the year, the NASDAQ rocketed a whopping 44%. The S&P 500 gained 16%, and the Dow added 7%. Invesco Chief global markets strategist Kristina Hooper's key takeaway for investors in 2020.

KRISTINA HOOPER: And this has been a Fed fueled-- a giant Fed fueled rally that we've experienced really for the last nine or so months. And to me, that is the greatest lesson of 2020, is that even when you don't have visibility, as long as the Fed steps in, you're likely to have a good year for stocks.

NARRATOR: On Thursday, the Dow and S&P 500 gained 2/3%, and the NASDAQ added 1/10%. Shares of Tribune Publishing jumped 7%. Hedge fund Alden Global Capital is seeking to take full control of Tribune in a deal that values a newspaper chain at $521 million.

ExxonMobil shares declined. The energy giant signaled it'll take an asset writedown of up to $20 billion. The markets will be closed Friday in observance of New Year's Day.